Daniel Aili

Wallenberg Academy Fellow 2016

Engineering Sciences

Associate Professor Daniel Aili
Linköping University

Nominated by
Linköping University

Support for cells that will form new organs

One dream within medicine is to be able to create new organs from stem cells. Wallenberg Academy Fellow Daniel Aili will develop supporting structures for cells, which can stimulate their growth and development into new tissue. One important aim is to enable the production of new organs using a 3D printer.

The body’s organs consist of a number of specialized cells that are arranged into organized structures and held together by connective tissue. In principle, it long appeared to be impossible to recreate all the intricate cell structures of a liver or a heart, for example, but the development of 3D printers has given researchers new hope. A 3D printer can – layer by layer – place all the specialized cells in exactly the right place.    

However, when cells are pressed through the printer nozzle they are exposed to great forces, and most of them die. Associate Professor Daniel Aili, Linköping University, is developing a material that may protect the cells during the printing process and support them in their new environment when they have been printed as an organ. The material – a cell-friendly hydrogel – will also be specially adapted so it contains substances that encourage the cells to develop into the desired tissue. 

In addition to producing material for 3D cell printing, Daniel Aili will develop material that supports traditional cell culture and stem cell treatments, where the cells are injected into the body. If the cells receive optimal support there is an increased chance of successful treatment.    


Photo: Marcus Marcetic